Crime

When you give cops a false name, you risk revealing a false face

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Editor’s note: Compiled from reports to Tacoma police and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

Aug. 31: The car, a gold Mazda Protege, looked like a rolling box of desperation.

The sheriff’s deputy spotted it in Parkland shortly before noon, headed west in the 600 block of 138th Street South in Spanaway. A jagged crack split the windshield. The license tabs were expired.

The driver noticed the deputy’s patrol car and turned abruptly into a dead-end street. The deputy followed and watched. The Mazda stopped. A man and a woman stepped out and walked into a fenced yard as if they had a reason to be there.

The man and the woman didn’t go to the door of the house that overlooked the yard. They walked through a nearby gate.

The deputy pulled his patrol car forward — an obvious signal. The driver walked to the doorstep of a nearby duplex while the woman returned to the fenced yard and loitered in a carport.

The deputy flagged the couple down, sat them on the bumper of the patrol car, called for backup and started a conversation.

What were they doing here? Why had they walked away so quickly?

The man, 50, said he was trying to borrow a phone because he was having car trouble. The woman, 50, said they were visiting someone at the house, then admitted she was lying. She said the man had an arrest warrant, so they were trying to walk away.

The deputy asked for names and ID. The man said he didn’t have his ID with him. He gave a name and birthdate. The deputy asked for his Social Security number. The man said he couldn’t remember it.

The deputy asked for names and ID. The man said he didn’t have his ID with him. He gave a name and birthdate. The deputy asked for his Social Security number. The man said he couldn’t remember it.

The deputy thought that was suspicious and said so, warning the man that giving false information was a bad idea. A records check based on the given name might come back with someone else’s face.

The man agreed, and admitted he was lying. He pulled a state identification card out of his pocket. The deputy ran a records check. The man’s license was suspended, and he had an active arrest warrant from the state Department of Corrections. The deputy cuffed him.

The deputy ran through the same routine with the woman, who tried the same ploy with the same result. Eventually, she admitted she was lying. A records check found another warrant, also from the state DOC.

The deputy booked the man and the woman into the Pierce County jail on the warrants. The car was impounded and towed.

Aug. 29: It’s tempting to deal private justice, but sometimes it backfires.

The dispatch call reported a fight and a possible theft. A sheriff’s deputy drove to the 6400 block of 151st Street Northwest near Purdy. A police sergeant from Gig Harbor also responded to assist.

The deputy found a man, 26, and a woman, 25, sitting near the entrance to an apartment. Nearby sat another man, 42, with a bloody towel wrapped around his arm. One of the apartment windows was broken.

The younger man and the woman said the older guy had moved in with them in June. Since then, stuff had been disappearing, including a bass guitar that mysteriously showed up for for sale online. The couple had checked the listing, and traced it back to their roommate.

A confrontation followed, and the roommate ran outside. The younger man had tackled the roommate, and the window had been broken during the scuffle.

Witnesses gave a similar account. The younger man had wrestled with the older man, while the woman choked him with a rope and the roommate yelled for help.

Witnesses gave a similar account. The younger man had wrestled with the older man, while the woman choked him with a rope and the roommate yelled for help.

The bleeding roommate said he was being accused of stealing guns when he hadn’t. The deputy asked about the guitar. The roommate didn’t want to talk about it, but finally admitted taking it and selling it online for $20.

The younger man said other things were stolen, including a tablet computer, guns and a video game console. The deputy checked records, and found none of the alleged thefts had been reported. The younger man admitted he hadn’t called 911 or reported the incidents to law enforcement.

The man said he was just trying to stop the roommate from getting away. The woman denied using a rope, and refused to answer more questions.

The deputy told the roommate he would be cited for theft. He arrested the man and the woman. Both were booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of second-degree assault.

Aug. 27: The man kept fainting, but officers sensed a feint.

The dispatch call started as a reported assault. Two officers drove to the 900 block of North I Street and spoke to a witness who pointed next door.

One officer, arriving first, heard an argument and spotted the combatants. One was a white-haired man, 73, shouting “get off my property” to another man, 30, who was standing in the threshold of the back door. The younger man was refusing to leave.

The officer spoke to the younger man and told him to leave. The man refused. The officer cuffed him and stowed him in a patrol car. The man said he was having trouble breathing. The officer called for medical aid, and spoke to the other residents of the house.

A second man, 44, said he had been allowing the younger man and a girlfriend to stay at the house and use the shower, but the couple often used methamphetamine and got loud.

A second man, 44, said he had been allowing the younger man and a girlfriend to stay at the house and use the shower, but the couple often used methamphetamine and got loud.

The man added that he was having a secret sexual relationship with the younger man, but he didn’t want anyone to know. He added that when the younger man got high, he would accuse the older man of raping him.

The white-haired man explained that he had hired the 30-year-old to paint the house last year, and helped him pay off debts to regain his driver’s license. Since then, the 30-year-old kept returning to the house when he wasn’t wanted.

Meanwhile, the 30-year-old was receiving medical aid from Tacoma firefighters. The man appeared to faint, but it looked more like a controlled fall to a soft spot on the grass. Firefighters took the man to Tacoma General Hospital, where he was medically cleared. On the way, he said his friend raped him.

An officer went to retrieve the man from the hospital. He stood, then collapsed, saying he had no strength to go on. Then he jumped up, forcing the officer into the hospital bed. The officer ordered him to the ground. The man slid down again and screamed. Hospital staffers refused to examine him again. He was booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of trespassing, and warned to stay away from the house.

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